I spent most of the 10 weeks that separate school years on Cape Cod with my grandparents. Maybe it’s my age or my penchant to idealize summertime memories, but they were good times. I worked beside my grandfather on the milk truck every morning. He woke me at 4:30am! Afternoons I played baseball with Craig, his brother Brian and an ever changing assortment of neighborhood kids. We claimed an abandoned park as our own. Sandy, with grass to our knees, it had the remains of a tennis court fence in left field that we pretended was Fenway’s Green Monster. When we wanted to cool down we rode our bikes to the beach or sat beneath backyard shade trees and traded cards.
In middle school our collections were without direction and our trades were motivated by the desire to repopulate the nine pocket pages that filled our vinyl sports card albums. The memories of specific trades have been lost to time but the adventure of swapping and the laughs we had are still a part of my memory of sunny summer afternoons. Times have changed and Craig and I have too. It has been more than 30 years since we opened our binders and traded cards, but last month, standing in a parking lot outside a card show at a Holiday Inn we engineered another trade; a straight up swap of Tommy Harper and Fred Kendall game used bats. The more things change, the more they stay they same.